17 mar 2023 06:30 am
Polish President Andrzej Duda has promised to hand over four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine soon. There are other MiG aircraft that still need to be serviced and prepared, Poland’s President said, without naming the total number.
Poland will hand over four fully operational MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine in the next few days, according to Polish President Andrzej Duda loud the newspaper Rzeczpospolita.
The other planes still need maintenance and preparation, he added. The head of state stated that the MiG-29s still contribute to the country’s defense. The Polish Air Force currently has about a dozen MiG-29s, which were taken over from the stocks of the GDR in the early 1990s.
A day earlier, a representative of the Polish government, Piotr Müller, announced that several countries had agreed to provide Ukraine with MiG-29 fighter jets. He announced the composition of the coalition would be announced shortly, as would the number of aircraft to be handed over. Mueller added:
“We already have clear statements as to which states will be part of (the coalition) but we have agreed that they will announce these types of decisions independently at an appropriate time and according to appropriate procedures.”
In early March, the Polish and Slovak authorities announced their intention to hand over MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed Ukraine could receive the planes in the next four to six weeks. President Duda added:
“I am sure that Ukraine will be ready to use them immediately.”
In his view, in the long run Ukraine will have to switch to western aircraft like the F-16. The Slovak Defense Ministry claimed it was ready to surrender ten of the eleven MiG-29 aircraft to the Ukrainian armed forces.
Washington welcomed the decision by Poland and other countries to provide fighter jets to Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would respond to the arms shipments to Ukraine by making fuller use of its existing capabilities.
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On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would launch a special military operation in Ukraine together with the armed forces of the Donbass republics to protect the population there. The goals are to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine. Ukraine speaks of a war of aggression. On the same day, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy declared a state of war across the country.
The West condemned the attack, reacted with new deliveries of weapons, promised help with reconstruction and imposed sanctions on Russia.
Scores of soldiers and civilians have been killed on both sides of the conflict. Moscow and Kiev have accused each other of various war crimes. Thousands of Ukrainians have now fled their homeland.